29 January 2016 — Sterling Energy Mauritania Limited has submitted a notice of withdrawal to its joint venture partners in relation to Block C-3, offshore Mauritania, following newly acquired and processed regional 2D seismic in the region.
As part of the withdrawal, SEML will assign its entire 40.5 percent participating interest in the production sharing contract for Block C-3 to Tullow Mauritania Limited, at no cost to Tullow.
The minimum work obligations for the block have been completed and, as a result, SEML will have no additional costs associated with the withdrawal.
Following receipt of the processed regional 2D seismic data, SEML believes that the acquisition has not sufficiently de-risked the block potential to justify entering into Phase 2 of the PSC in June 2016. Phase 2 includes a minimum work obligation of 270 square miles of 3D seismic and the drilling of one well.
Completion of the withdrawal remains subject to the approval by the government of the Islamic republic of Mauritania. Upon completion of the assignment, Tullow will hold a 90 percent operated interest in the block, with Société Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures et de Patrimoine Minier holding the remaining 10 percent interest.
Commenting on the withdrawal, Eskil Jersing, the company’s CEO, said in a company statement: “Our entry into the C-3 block was prefaced on the block providing dependent running room for the immature shelfal Cretaceous and Jurassic plays recognized in Block C-10.
In our opinion the newly acquired and processed regional 2D seismic has not sufficiently de-risked Block C-3 to enable Sterling to commit to enter into Phase 2 of the PSC due to begin in June 2016. The withdrawal from Block C-3 is entirely in-line with our approach of disciplined exploration.
We would like to thank Tullow for all its efforts as operator over the last year and SMHPM, the National Oil Company of Mauritania, for their support and look forward to continuing to work with them to de-risk and mature the remaining potential in Block C-10.”